It is definitely tragic and morose when our heroes or idols die. Just a reminder of how death takes even the best of us, and life can’t be taken lightly no matter who or where you are. Tragically enough there are quite a few movie stars out of history who unexpectedly lost their lives during the filming of their movies or the production. So, we thought we could do our tiny bit in memory of some of our favourite movie stars.
Here are 10 movie actors who died during filming great movies.
1. Heath Ledger – The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Perhaps one of the most iconic deaths in cinema history, Heath Ledger died in 2008 of a prescription drug overdose about a third of the way through the filming of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. The actor had just finished his epic role as the Joker in The Dark Knight when he lost his life.
2. Paul Walker – Furious 7 (2015)
Another tragic story of death that hit hardcore Fast & Furious fans across the world, was the news of the death of Paul Walker in a car accident. There were plans to put the production of the film on hold indefinitely, until Paul Walker’s brother was called in to help play through a CGI version of him.
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2014)
Having filmed most of his scenes for the two-part final installment of The Hunger Games series, is when Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on February 2, 2014. There were a few bumps the production of the sequel to Mockinjay had to face due to a pending scene featuring Hoffman. Nonetheless, we miss Hoffman for all of his spectacular work.
4. Oliver Reed – Gladiator (2000)
The British actor died of a heart attack on set while filming Ridley Scott’s Gladiator back in 2000. Considering that most of his scenes were already shot for the movie, there wasn’t a particular halt in the movie. Although, CGI effects had to be used for subsequently shorter appearances following his death. He ended up giving us one of the most memorable characters from the movie.
5. Bruce Lee – Game Of Death (1978)
The legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee’s death was the source of an endless amount of argument and speculation. The star died before Game Of Death could be completed in 1973, and an unfinished version of the film was released. Later, in 1978, a feature length version of the movie was released with the stringing together of existing footage.
6. Brandon Lee – The Crow (1994)
Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, similarly lost his life in an accident while shooting for the action movie The Crow. The actor was reported to have been shot by accident with a prop gun that contained a real bullet. The remaining parts of the film were shot using a body double and special effects.
7. Marilyn Monroe – Something’s Got To Give (1962)
The universal face of beauty, Marilyn Monroe lost her life to a drug overdose during the filming of her movie Something’s Got to Give in 1962. The movie was never completed and released, although edits from the movie were featured in the 2001 documentary Marilyn: The Last Days.
8. John Ritter – 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2003)
You might remember John Ritter as the father from the TV sitcom, 8 Simple Rules. Ritter collapsed on the set of the show on September 11, 2003, and succumbed to a heart attack later that night. Popular TV show Scrubs also featured an episode paying tribute to the actor’s death.
9. Chris Farley – Shrek (2001)
The famous green ogre, Shrek was originally to be voiced by comedian actor Chris Farley. In fact, a huge part of the voice-over had already been recorded when the actor tragically died of an overdose on December 18, 1997. But, not enough for the movie to be completed. Therefore, SNL co-star Mike Myers stepped in to play the part.
10. Andy Whitfield – Spartacus (2011)
The star of the historic epic show Spartacus, Andy Whitfield died on September 11, 2011, succumbing to lymphoma. The show continued for two more seasons with Liam McIntyre stepping in as the historic character.